(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Carlo Longino

What Makes A Mobile Song Download Worth $1.50 More?

from the mobile-equals-expensive dept

Sprint's making headlines this morning by announcing the first US over-the-air mobile music download service. Apparently the company's target market is impatient rich people that can't wait to get home to download something, as songs will cost $2.50 per track. What is it about mobile download services that make operators think they can charge two and a half times the going rate for regular online downloads? Oh, well, it's dual-delivery, they say, meaning users will get the songs both on their phone and on their computer. Awesome -- so not only does their copy protection make things more difficult, it's used to justify a higher price, too. Here's where everybody's insistence on copy protection really becomes a problem: users won't want to buy new devices that can't play music they already own, and they won't abandon existing cheaper services (and music players they already own) just to be able to buy music through their phone when it costs so much more. Sure, device convergence is nice, but asking users to pay a $1.50 per song premium to carry around one less device really isn't the right way to go about it.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jose Padin, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 8:31am

    There is no perfect Apha service

    Tone the preemptive snark factor down a few notches.
    We're not even at the Beta level for these services.
    I dislike mobile carries as much as the next guy, especially since there are gonna stall ball wide area IP phones, but this service will pop up some will die like this Sprint service and others will get hot, first we need a usable convergent device, its not the Rokr, its not the Walkman phone, or the Treo or the BB 7100.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 10:04am

    Re: There is no perfect Apha service

    I Velcro'd my Zen Nano to the back of my cell phone. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    james, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 10:17am

    No Subject Given

    That's actually 250%. 150% would be $1.50, %100 is $1.00. Or you could say its 150% more, for a total of $2.50.

    This is me bored at work!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Wireless Guy, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 10:36am

    I cringed when I saw this

    Too many times good ideas have been killed by poor marketing/pricing. Sprint once again is pricing itself out of the game. This combined with their own admission that they will be limiting their unlimited service, keeping people from using voice phones with cables in EV-DO mode, puts their price tag of $60 at a point where you are better off staying with 1XRTT rates at more reasonable costs. The same is true for Cingular UMTS & Verizon's EV-DO> The only data I see that makes financial sense for what you can use it for is T-Mobile's EDGE at $20.

    $2.50 for a song, that is about $25-30 an album. Even if you take the time to go and buy in a store, the cost of gas and the pain of the geeks behind the counter it is still cheaper to go and get it the traditional way.

    I bet within two months people will have ways of getting around their locks, just like people have with everything else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Hung, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 10:44am

    Re: No Subject Given

    If you click on the link for "they can charge 150% the going rate", it shows a price of $1.49 for music downloads, which is technically not 150%, but still.

    This is me bored at home.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jack Krynn, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 11:20am

    Re: No Subject Given

    While I agree that this is completely overcharged I am one who is very interested in this type of service. I typically write down songs I hear on a daily basis so that I might purchase them when I get home. If I had the ability to purchase and download them immediately it would sure save the trouble of me writing it down or forgetting to do it later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 1:23pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    You obviously have more money than brains.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Music Sucks, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 3:34am

    Stop listening to crap

    Why is every second story about Music?

    Who cares anymore? Most commercial music is just a bunch of crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Mike Robinson, Oct 13th, 2006 @ 7:53pm

    Sprint Service

    I have a Sanyo phone from spring and before a year the I-Go car charger does not work, I purchased them at Radio Shack when I went to complain there was another customer with the same cell phone and she was experiencing the same exact problem, the clerk said we can buy a new Tip for the phone for 10 bucks . You would think that they would try to make the customers happy. then I asked about drop calls due to lost of signal, he said they give a $75 credit towards the purchase of a new phone but you have to add a additional year of service. If I am unhappy about the service why would I sign up for another year?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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